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Graduate Programs

Our graduate students benefit from the diverse and overlapping communities of creative production, public engagement, and scholarly enquiry that make up the School of Visual Studies. Our degree programs emphasize the disciplines of art practice as well as historical and critical studies of the arts. Artists and designers in the MFA program learn the technical, conceptual, and entrepreneurial skills crucial to developing a sustainable studio practice. Historians in the MA and PhD programs combine the study of artifacts and spaces with the study of culture. And all of our students become skilled communicators to a variety of audiences. Our alumni are artists, curators, gallery directors, educators, and community arts organizers. The School of Visual Studies is committed to nurturing the next generation of creative problem solvers, lifelong learners and compassionate human beings.

We seek to fund qualified full-time students with generous financial aid packages that may incorporate stipends, tuition remission, and insurance support. Follow the links below to find out more about the degree program that interests you!

MFA in Studio Art

The University of Missouri SVS Art Program offers an excellent faculty and the space, time, and support for students to push their work to its fullest potential. Many graduate students work in the nearly 8000 square feet of newly renovated studio space on campus. Located in Columbia, Missouri - halfway between two major cultural centers, Kansas City and St. Louis - our three-year MFA program gives developing artists the breathing room to create strong, competitive projects that engage a range of issues in the contemporary discourse.

MA in Visual Studies

The MA program in Visual Studies blends disciplinary training in the history of art, material culture, and media studies with a commitment to public humanities. Our students combine coursework with outreach, research, and teaching opportunities in preparation for work in educational institutions, cultural organizations, and the broader creative economy.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Visual Studies

In the Doctoral Program students deepen their exploration of art history and demonstrate their ability to carry out original scholarship. The department advises doctoral students in the following areas of study: late medieval and modern European and American art and culture; material culture; patronage and collecting; gender and the arts; and the social history of art.

Graduate Minor in Museum Studies

The program comprises six courses designed to introduce students to the history and role of museums in society; to the philosophical, legal and administrative issues that face the modern museum; and to the exhibition and preservation skills required of a museum curator.